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UK drivers’ insurance premiums spike to five-year high

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

Drivers are paying an average £72 more for their insurance than they did last year, according to a comparison site’s tracker.

UK drivers are being hit with the biggest annual increase in five years, as the average cost for an annual policy now stands at £586 for Q3 2022.

This is a £72 rise (14%) on the previous year, and according to Confused.com, it’s also the sharpest rise this year.

Its car insurance price index, which has been running since 2006 on a quarterly basis, and which analyses six million quotes revealed premiums have risen £32 (6%) in just the last three months alone.

As such, it said Q3 2022 is the most expensive quarter for motorists this year.

Drivers of all ages are seeing price hikes, but those aged 19 are bearing the brunt. Their premiums have reached an average £1,488 – the biggest annual and quarterly increase of any age group. In the past year, these drivers are paying an average £233 (19%) more year-on-year.

Drivers in their 30s saw average premiums rise by £101 (15%), while 69-year-olds face a smaller £32 (11%) increase.

Regional and gender differences

Based on region, drivers in central London have seen the biggest increase over the past 12 months, with premiums at an average £936 – a £132 hike.

For drivers in Northern Ireland, they’re paying £106 more, taking cover to £631 a year.

Turning to gender, Confused.com revealed that men continue to pay more for cover than women.

Male drivers pay an average £626, while women pay £516 – a £112 difference. This is despite the EU Gender Directive which means insurers can’t calculate insurance based on a person’s gender.

But the comparison site explained men normally pay larger premiums because they tend to choose more expensive cars with bigger engines and more technology. “So if they have an accident then their insurance claim will tend to be for a higher amount”, it added.

Compare prices to drive down the cost of car insurance

Separate research also revealed that two in five drivers who consider sticking with their current insurer receive renewal quotes that are £38 more expensive than the previous year, on average.

This is despite the fact that more than a quarter (28%) of drivers who have renewed so far this year thought their insurance quote would be cheaper this time around.

In fact, more than a quarter (27%) of drivers who chose to shop around using a price comparison site were able to save £50, on average, it found.

Confused.com said it is “so confident” that there are lower car insurance prices out there for drivers, that it is “making a valuable promise to drivers”.

“We guarantee to beat drivers’ car insurance renewal prices, or give them the difference, plus £20”, it said.

It offers drivers who buy insurance through the site a £20 voucher to pay towards a food shop at Lidl or towards an MOT or service at Halfords.

Louise O’Shea, Confused.com’s chief executive officer, said: “As we head into winter, money is going to be tight. With concerns over the rising costs of energy, fuel and even food, millions of us will be looking for new ways to number-crunch and save money where we can.

“I cannot emphasise enough just how important it is to take time, do your research and compare insurance prices. You might be missing out on fantastic deals and it will really help in the long run.”